Jul 22, 2013

Historic Labor Party meeting in Balmain

The Federal Labor Party Caucus meets today in its Inner West birthplace to decide on landmark reforms giving branch members more say over the party’s leadership.

The meeting will discuss a proposal that gives branch members an equal say with the elected members of parliament on who the federal leader is.

“This is an issue that comes up regularly with local branch members and I am pleased to support these reforms,” said Federal Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese.

“We rely on our supporters to knock on doors and hand out leaflets to get our message out to the community so it’s important that they get to contribute to the leadership of the party.”

The meeting will take place in Balmain Town Hall just down the road from the Unity Hall Hotel, where the first Labor Party branch was founded in 1891.

“Back in those days there were no statutory protections for workers, not unlike John Howard’s and Tony Abbott’s WorkChoices,” Mr Albanese said.

“But those branch members banded together to legislate worker’s protections and followed it up with other progressive reforms such as the age pension, Medicare, indigenous land rights, equal access to university and superannuation.

“The current Federal Labor Government continues that tradition delivering action on climate change, a national disability insurance scheme, school funding reform and the National Broadband Network.

“I’m pleased this meeting will be held in the Inner West where it all started 122 years ago.”